Sunday, November 12, 2017

This "Monster" is Delightful and Engaging

Ever have one of those days? Monster Dionysus works for the "cryptobiological containment department" of animal control. He captures mythological and magical creatures along with his partner, Chester, a paper gnome, who’s actually from another dimension. Monster’s bad day starts when he gets a call about a Yeti who’s wreaking havoc in a supermarket - actually the big furry guy is sitting there eating ice cream. Monster rescues Judy, an employee at the store, from the ravenous snow giant, and assumes his job is done. But in A. Lee Martinez’s comic novel, Monster, that's just the beginning of the story. Suddenly, a host of magical creatures are following Judy everywhere. They wreak havoc not only with her life, but with Monster’s as well.

Most humans in Monster’s world forget their encounters with the fantastic as soon as they occur. They have to be reminded about what happened to them; apparently, our little brains can’t handle the idea that magic is real. So Monster has to keep telling Judy about all the supernatural events that surround her. As more and more creatures appear, he has to figure out why Judy seems to be the epicenter of all these fantastic events. Monster also has to deal with the mysterious Lotus, who is going around turning people into cats! It looks like Lotus knows what's really going on, but she isn't telling. And let’s not forget Monster’s girlfriend from hell – who really is from hell. She's pretty angry most of the time, which also complicates matters for our hero.

Monster combines clever dialogue and fantastical situations along with some elements of action and adventure, which makes for an enjoyable, fast-paced read. Martinez' style is reminiscent of Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams. If you're a fan of those authors, I think you'll dig this particular Monster. Martinez maintains a light tone throughout this engaging, well-paced book, and creates some memorable, engaging characters. If you enjoy your fantasy or science-fiction on the lighter side, then Monster is highly recommended. Martinez has written several other excellent books, including a comic horror story entitled Gil’s All Fright Diner, another delightful fantasy titled Divine Misfortune and a sci-fi/hardboiled detective pastiche called The Automatic Detective. You can learn more about his other works here:

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